Review: Revlon Matte & Lacquer Balms

Hey guys! Today I am venturing away from the hair stuff, and reviewing some new Revlon lippies for y'all. These are new as of the fall and seem to be a permanent edition to Revlon's lip products. Here's some swatches, and check out the video review at the end of the post! :)

*this just doesn't apply super opaque when compared to standout... not just me being lazy lol! :)

Watch my review here:

Sarah @:-)

My Natural Star Expo Experience [Charlotte, NC]

Hey curlies! So I am soon going to post a vlog and haul from the Natural Star Expo that I attended in Charlotte, but I also wanted to type out some of my thoughts on the event here. I didn't want to add all this to the vlog because 1) I lost the cord to my mike for voice overs and 2) the vlog was already long anyways! :)

lil ol me

So this was the first year that this event occurred. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of the event when my friend and myself were just walking around, and she was super nice! Overall I had fun networking- I met lots of people at the event and I need to bring business cards if I go to another one of these.

my friend Tyler
The event ran from the morning into the afternoon, but my friend and I arrived about noon. The event was very organized; we were handed a schedule when we arrived. The venue was gorgeous and so was the set up for the event, which you can see more of in the vlog. There were lots of stands from what seemed like local vendors and small businesses with a handful "bigger names" mixed in. For that reason I didn't go crazy and buy a bunch of products, since I hadn't heard of any before.

During the event there was always a supplementary activity going on besides the general shopping. While I was there there was a singer, keynote speaker, a makeup demo, and a natural hair lesson. I went to "Natural Hair 101." I wont say much, but let's just say the stylist arrived kind of late. She had some good stuff to say, but I wish she had focused less on heat styles and "taming natural hair" as she put it. She did show some interesting styles for type 4 hair with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. Also I was probably just bored because it was "Natural Hair 101"; I'd love to see a hairstylist do a lesson on a more advanced topic.

As a side note, I found myself to be one of a handful of other Caucasian women at the expo. Now this doesn't bother me, but it makes me think about what the phrase "natural hair" means. Because for me personally, I think that includes all women that wear their hair without using heat or chemicals to change the hair texture.

So should companies in the natural hair market try to appeal to a broader spectrum of not just type 4 girls (kinky coily), but also type 3 and 2 (curly and wavy)? Are they losing business or should they stay in more of a niche market? I started this debate with a few online friends of mine, and we came to the conclusion that companies should be more inclusive in advertising to other races and hair textures. But also the consumers would have to make this change too, by creating their own meetups appealing to a wider range of women, contacting the companies, etc. What do you think? Let me know down below in the comments.

Overall this was a really fun event and if I'm in the Charlotte area and this happens again I will definitely go back. I feel like Charlotte deserves an expo or a convention with more "big" name vendors though, since it definitely has the population for that event to be successful. And I would love to see a hairstylist like April Couse Walker or Joy from, who have a different approach to natural hair, at the expo.

Sarah @:-)

*Photos in this post were taken by my friend Tyler (@color_character on instagram).


As I Am Product Review: Leave in & Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Hey curlies! Today I am posting what may be my first ever hair product review (as a blog post). Let me know if you like these as an addendum/companion to my video reviews. Anyways let's get cracking.

**Disclaimer: Product results may vary on your own unique coils, waves, or curls depending on your hair density, porosity, and thickness! YMMV.**

As I Am Leave In

Claim: "A great leave-in is a vital first step in styling. Smooth it on after cleansing and conditioning. Your finished style will be softer shinier and more manageable. This natural wonder keeps tangles away and provides a great foundation for natural styling. It contains an organic strengthening agent, plus natural ingredients that promote hair growth."

Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut)¹ and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla)¹, Cetyl Alcohol¹, Citric Acid¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit (Saw Palmetto) Extract¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹(Green Tea), Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root¹, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene.
*CG friendly, silicone free, protein free, paraben free, wax free, castor/mineral oil free

Price: $10:50

Sarah's thoughts: This is a wonderful water-based leave in conditioner that is very similar to my favorite Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) leave in (for a few bucks cheaper). It smells great- sweet and citrusy- and the ingredients are pretty natural and very moisturizing. This leave in leaves my hair soft and moisturized throughout the day. The consistency is between thick and thin- again similar to KCKT. Love it! This has become my new go-to leave in.

As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Claim: "A rich, penetrating conditioner, As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner is an exceptional blend of hair softeners and fortifiers, including coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple and lemon, shea butter and vitamin E.
  • Moisturizes deep within the hair shaft
  • Smooths and aligns cuticle layer
  • Repairs split ends and strengthens weak areas
  • Promotes shine
  • Infused with pure herbal ingredients that stimulate the scalp and hair roots
  • Enhances manageability and hair health"
Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Coco-Caprylate², Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin¹, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Phytosterols¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹ (Green Tea), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Fragrance/Parfum, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase, Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Extract¹, Limonene 
*CG friendly, Paraben Free, Protein Free, Silicone Free, wax free, mineral/castor oil free

Price: $16.00 

Sarah's thoughts: This deep conditioner (DC) was just OK. I used it two times, and while maybe my hair would have gotten more of the benefits over time, the product doesn't seem to live up to its claims. My hair felt softer, but it did not feel amazingly softer or super moisturized once I rinsed the treatment out. (For reference, I love Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Conditioner for to give me that amazingly refreshed and soft hair.) Since it's protein free, I'm not sure how it's supposed to "strengthen weak areas" either. This is not a DC that can double as a detangling/rinse out conditioner; it did not aid with detangling, which is something I personally look for in DCs. The product does smell amazing and it has a thick texture that distributes well in the hair. I will use up this product, but will probably not repurchase, especially at this price point. 

References - photos, ingredients, and product descriptions from

My Winter Curly Hair Routine and Products

Hello twirlies! Awhile ago on here I posted an explanation of dew points. However, I don't actually follow the standard guidelines that I summarized in that post; I more so made the video because someone requested it. So today I will share with you what I do with my curly hair when the colder weather comes. I live in North Carolina which does get slightly less humid in the colder months, but not terribly so so keep that in mind.

My winter curly hair routine includes:

  • Moisturizing my hair more! I find that my hair gets dryer in these months, whether it's from the low temperatures, in door heating, or dryer air. One way I like to combat this is by doing deep treatments. I like Curl Junkie Curl Rehab or As I Am Elation Hydration Conditioner. I like to always deep condition with heat, so I use my Hair Therapy Heat Cap.
  • In the shower I need a super mositurizing day to day conditioner to keep my hair strong and moisturized. For me that's Sally's Beauty Supply Generic Matrix Bioalge Conditioning Balm.
  • I use more moisture when styling my hair. I generally use way more leave in conditioner. My favorites include Kinky Curly Knot Today and As I Am Leave in.
  • I worry about frizz less! Because there is less humidity in the air my hair tends to frizz less; the frizzies are not being pulled outwards looking for moisture, because there is not usually much to look for. So I apply less (maybe a dime sized amount to each side of my hair) or Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper.
  • Going along with the last bullet, I use gels with less hold. Because it's less humid out, my hair needs less control. Some of the gels I like to use in the colder months include Curl Junkie Pattern Pusha, Aussie Instant Freeze Gel, Pantene Curly Hair Curl Shaping Gel, and Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Gel.
  • A downside of the decreased humidity is that I often get much looser curls. In order to amp up my curls when I need them looking extra good I will use a curl activator like AG Curl Re:coil and my blowdryer and diffuser (Revlon 1875W)
  • I love wearing my hair up in slouchy hats in the winter because it's such a great fix for a bad hair day. 
  • I also really enjoy braidouts because 1) it means I don't have to shower on cold mornings and 2) it's a style I can tuck into my hats until it's ready.

A braidout with Karen's Body Beautiful Creme

A braid out with Mahogany Naturals Leave in & Butter

That's all I have to say about my winter hair routine! Please leave your winter tips and products below in the comments. 

- Sarah @:-)

The Boyfriend Tag with Michael!

Hello curlies! So I know a lot of gurus on YouTube have been doing the boyfriend tag for quite awhile, so I finally got around to doing mine. And let's just say that I didn't want to do one of these until I was sure I wouldn't have to take it down later. ;)

I tag anyone else to do this with your significant other. Also check out my vlog channel videos with Mike on my second channel!

How did we meet?
How long have we been dating?
How/when did we meet the families?
She sits down to order a drink at a restaurant; what does she get?
What's her favorite cereal?
What was your first impression of her?
What is one special talent she has?
If she is eating a sandwhich was is it?
What type of dressing does she get on her salad?
She's watching TV; what show is on?

Thanks so much for watching girls! Feel free to leave any comments down below. If you would like to see Michael in any other videos let me know. :)

<3 Sarah @:-)boyfriend,

Natural Hair #NaturalStarExpo Experience

Hey guys! I'm going to try once again to get back into blogging.

This past weekend I attended the Natural Star Expo in Charlotte, NC. It was the debut of this new event and in light of that, I was impressed with the level of organization. They featured about 20 vendors that were mostly smaller, local companies of hair care products, jewelry, makeup, and clothing. In addtion they had speakers going on throughout the event and a couple demos.

I chose to attend the Natural Hair 101 event, which was alright to say the least. The hairstylist was intent on taming natural hair and showing us heat hair styles, but I'll leave it at that. I really enjoyed meeting the owner of KurleeBelle products as well as the founder of the event and getting to network a little bit. Next time I go to one of these I am making business cards for sure!

My friend Tyler and I did a lot of shopping, and in general it was nice to go into Charlotte for the day since we live in a sleepy college town. I was not attracted to too many of the stands, given I didn't research many of the brands beforehand. However I did purchase KurleeBelle deep treatment and a t-shirt, since they are on curlmart and somewhat well known. I also got some scarves to wear around my neck and hair. I specifically want to try laying my edges with the beige skinny one. :)

I am currently in the process of editing a vlog and haul video about this event, and will post those when they are uploaded to YouTube. Have a fabulous hair day, curlies!

<3 Sarah @:-)

First Time Stretching the Wash n Go for a WEEK!

Hola curlies! @:-) I am currently studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain right now and I travel a lot on the weekends. During these trips we tend to stay in hostels with communal bathrooms, and stay busy exploring whichever city. As well I have a very busy schedule for classes and extracuriculars here during the week. I've always been busy back home at school in the US too. Washing and styling my hair is always an hour long process, and the drying process around 4 hours since I didn't bring my diffuser... For this reason I decided to see if I could go a whole week without washing my hair. I have mastered 2nd day hair, but don't usually go past that, so I decided to give it a go. 

Day 1 - hair after a self trim. Good hair day. Styled with kinky curly knot today leave in, CVS personal lubricant, and LA looks sport gel.

Day 2 - still looking shiny and fairly frizz free, but a few curls are starting to go straight. Refreshed with water, kinky curly knot today and some devacurl set it free.

Day 3 - curls are starting to lose their form. For a quick styling fix I threw it up in a side pony tail and bobby pinned by bang pieces. I think I added more devacurl set it free.

Day 4 - Slept with my hair in french braid pigtails to readd some curls. Looking much better than I thought it would, but the frizz definitely comes out. Added some water, kinky curly knot today, and LA looks nutra curl gel to the hair.

Days 5 - Flew to Valencia, Spain this day. My hair ended up in a ponytail because it was raining cats and dogs there. I forgot to take "hair" pics, but here is me with a huge ChupaChup (brand of lollipops). My hair ended up frizzy that day from the rain; my umbrella actually broke in the middle of the stick from the wind!

Day 6 - Second day in Valencia, I styled my hair with water, curl junkie leave in, and LA looks sport gel (a dime sized amount). My hair started out fairly nice, but the continuos misty rain, and moving my hair in and out of a poncho, left my hair frizzy and dry looking by the end of the day. This picture is of me at the Ciudad de las artes y ciencias gift shop, a huge modern museum in Valencia. I'm posing with a Tri-cera-tops because my name is Sarah... get it? ;)

Day 7 - Hair in a bun to fly back to Sevilla. Not worth photographing. :) Washed my hair this day.

So after going a full week, I've established that my hair can survive. It was really nice being able to wear my hair down without too much effort. (Usually a mid week wash, means my hair is going up in a bun or pony for me.) 

However, this routine is really not perfect and my first experiment. (That's why I'm blogging instead of vlogging lol.) The kinky curly worked wonderfully as a moisturizer. I think I probably should use something besides devacurl set it free; although it leaves my hair shiny and smooth, it has beeswax, which may have sealed OUT moisture later in the week. Gel was better- the LA looks nutra curl works well, but I think a dab of stronger gel will give me more hold. I've found that I get better hair if I rewet and add gel each day. However my hair did start to feel producty on days 5 & 6. My sleep cap from SilkyCocoon on esty was great- it lets the length of my hair lay pretty much undisturbed while I sleep, or I can do braids.

Overall I am going to seek out some better 2nd day hair products--I wish I had a butter made of oils here as that's great for braid outs. I also need a moisturizing product for my scalp if I am going to go this long. I have a very dry scalp, and this week of not cowashing, left it extremely dry and flaky. :( I have my eyes on a product made by Moxie Original, because applying oil to my scalp just makes my hair look oily of course. I am also going to attempt the LOC method (liquid-oil-cream) to keep the hair more moisturized. Next time I am going to try water, then kinky curly, then jojoba oil or coconut under, and then LA looks sport because I don't have a cream. I am limited in experimenting until I get back to the states unfortunately!

I think I may need to make some changes to my hair washing routine, after going a full week. After a whole week without fully being wet, my hair felt dry even after washing out the conditioner. So I think a deep conditioner may be in order every time I attempt the week long wash and go. Also the tangles were rather bad, although I attempted to detangle with water and fingers every day. I also think I developed a few more single strand knots (SSKs) aka fairy knots (a single knot on a single strand of hair). I need to be more diligent about braiding my hair every night to help prevent this, instead of sleeping with it loose inside the cap. My hair was not overly frizzy after styling after this wash though, so I consider it a success. :)

In conclusion, the pro's for me included: 
  • wearing my hair down for 6 days straight
  • good hair days, days 1-4
  • decreased time spent on my hair was awesome
The cons for me, or rather my hair:
  • more tangles and SSks
  • dry hair after washing
  • touchiness of day 5/6 hair with humidity and rain
  • scalp drying out
I think with product experimentation and braiding more often at night, I can diminish the cons. But for now I am just going to extend my hair to 3rd or 4th day--especially because of my dry scalp and SSKs. I was surprised by how long my hair could go though, and I definitely recommend some of you curlies see how long you can stretttttch your curls as well. Saves you some sleep and time, so you can spend less time thinking about your hair, and more about life!

Wishing everyone a good hair day @:-)

Dying My Hair with Henna!

Hello curlies! It's that time again where I have a lot of information to share a long with a video. I am going to try to blog more often because 1) this blog doesn't have very many posts 2) I like writing and 3) it's a nice medium and reference for you guys when you want to read instead of watching a video. Anywhoodles, this post will concern my experience with henna.

My First Henna Experience - Dying my Whole Head of Hair

In the beginning/middle of November I used henna to dye my medium brown hair to a reddish brown (aka auburn) color. It's orange-ier in insight lighting, and the beautiful auburn shade I love in the sunlight. I am so happy with the results of the henna, and I'm going to keep my hair this way for awhile. It leaves my hair feeling very strong and most importantly a vibrant red shade. I <3 being a henna-head.

This video explains the entire henna process IN DETAIL. From strand tests all the way to washing out the henna.

I bought my henna and amla from

Recipe I used:
300g henna
100g amla
~4-5 cups of very diluted lemon juice

I added amla because I wanted a very auburn color, and it's supposed to enchance curls, while henna makes them wavy. The lemon juice is acidic and is necessary so the mixture oxidizes. I mixed this up, let it sit overnight, added more water the next day, and then applied the henna to my hair. I left it in for about 3 1/2 hours, before rinsing it out.

All the estimates online told me to mix 500g; I went down to 400g which was still too much. I probably could have mixed up half or less of the amount of dye powder I bought. It was way too much henna for my hair which is thick, but layered and has the longest pieces at my waist. The good thing is that you can freeze the henna mixture and use it for up to 6 months.  I guestimate that I could have mixed 150g of henna and 50g of amla.

Rinsing out the henna is a messy, long process. I used these products:
Suave naturals coconut conditioner (to scrub the scalp)
Shea Moisture Thickening Shampoo (for adding cleansing)
GVP Matrix Biolage conditioning balm - I should have skipped this and gone straight to a deep treatment
Curl Junkie Banana  Hibiscus Deep Treatment - this took away the dry, tangled feel of my hair (henna acts like a protein treatment)
Tangle Teezer Brush

Styled my hair with these afterwards :)
Kinky curly knot today leave in
Curly hair solutions curl keeper
Aussie instant freeze gel

For more info on henna check out:

I learned a few things from my first henna experience:
*add spices or essential oils next time to cover the henna smell (grassy, fishfoody, herbal, yuck)
*add conditioner to mixture to help avoid dry hair
*deep condition immediately after rinsing out henna
*mix 150g probably for my hair length
*nix the amla next time. It left my hair very curly, but I want a redder auburn.

Overall I really love henna and think it is a great natural alternative to chemical dyes. Here's a list of its pros and cons:

*Natural look
*Vibrant color that does not fade
*Can be mixed with cassia or indigo for brown or black colors
*Healthy for the hair (like a protein treatment)

*Long process (henna has to oxidize night before dying)
*Usually must order BAQ henna online
*Hard to remove color from hair

After about two months my roots had grow out noticeably, but it still was not bad with my hair down. People I have known for ages continued to assume that my hair had just gotten darker (lol) and people I met for the first time told me my hair color didn't look dyed. So, henna is a very natural change. :) The video below contains more information about henna as well as an update on how I am feeling about the color--still awesome! @:-)

Keeping it Up - Henna Root Touch Ups

After the video above I henna'd my whole head again. Then after being abroad in Spain and not hennaing my hair for 5 months, I finally got around to doing it. Since I was just doing my roots, which involves a different technique, I recorded the process and my reaction:

It was a lot less messier to just do my roots than my whole head, and I really enjoyed using the "icing" method (a ziploc bag full of henna with a corner snipped) for the front of my head, but I just resorted to smoothing it on in the back because I couldn't see properly to do that. The color seemed to come out really even, which was great! And I mixed up the perfect amount of henna. You could say I'm a bit of a henn expert now. :)

Henna mixture (root touch up):
50 grams or 1/2 cup body art quality henna powder (Body Art Quality Ancient Sunrise® Henna for Hair Kit: Red)
Lime juice (any other pure citrus juice may be used such as lemon, grapefruit, etc. or other acidic liquids)

Other supplies:
Bowl (plastic, ceramic, or glass is best - no wood)
Mixing utensil (this touches the henna for so little time it doesn't matter)
Plastic wrap
Ziploc bag
Old towel
Old clothing
Newspaper for floor
Parting comb (mine is from Sally's Beauty Supply)
Hair tie

Update 7.8.15 - No More Henna

Hello everyone! At this point I have completely grown out all of the henna from my hair. I just did this naturally quite awhile ago, and opted for a short style eventually. I didn't mind the red in my ends though, as it was like a subtle ombre. Honestly the color difference is not huge between my natural hair and henna unless I was in bright sunlight, so it was fine to grow out. Obviously if you have lighter hair it may make a bigger difference!

Overall I really loved the color henna gave my hair, and how strong and healthy it felt, but I just wasn't up to the maintenance. If I could go to a salon and get my hair hennaed regularly I would keep it up! Also over time I started to worry that the henna had loosened my curls a little bit. I wanted to get them back to being as stringy as possible.

Some day when my hair starts to grey I think I'll go back to henna, or try henna and indigo for chocolatey brown hair. But for now I am done with henna, and might strart experimenting with commercial dyes.

I hope you have found this blog post helpful. I know 2,000 people have read it- WOW! Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments as always.

Wishing you a good hair day @:-)